Phone: 910-778-8485 fax: 910-778-8477

2980 Ray Road Spring Lake NC 28390 Near Overhills Schools

Vincent Vissichelli, DMD

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Specializing in the treatment of infants, children, teens and special needs patients.

Patient Forms

What are those inactive ingredients in toothpaste?

The inactive ingredients in toothpaste provide stability and esthetics. These ingredients include  binders, surfactants, buffering agents, humectants (glycerin and sorbitol), preservatives, sweeteners,flavorings, and dyes.

Humectants are added to retain moisture so that the toothpaste does not dry out.

Binders (Xanthan gum, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) carbomers, carrageenan,
and synthetic cellulose) provide texture and determine how thick the toothpaste is.

Buffers (Trisodium phosphate, sodium citrate and Pyrophosphates) work in the toothpaste to keep the pH constant.

Flavoring and sweeteners – peppermint, saccharin, and
xylitol – none of which promote dental decay.

Surfactants (Sodium lauryl sulfate, poloxamer) create the foaming commonly associated with toothpaste. They aid in the cleaning process by helping to loosen plaque and debris and provide stability for the flavoring system.

Color (titanium dioxide, dyes, pigment, mica)  for esthetics.


Toothpaste- stain control and whitening

Stains can be classified as surface stains or below the enamel surface.  Toothpaste primarily work against surface stains. Bleaching products that contain hydrogen peroxide (i.e., whitening strips) or carbamide peroxide (i.e., dental office bleaching trays) address both below the enamel surface stains and surface stain.

Most toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help clean stain particles from the tooth surface, controlling surface stains with home care. While toothpaste abrasives are desirable to keep stains off teeth, they are designed to not wear down the tooth enamel over time with repeated brushing.  The abrasives in toothpaste are silica, aluminum oxide, calcium carbonate, and dicalcium phosphate dihydrate.

Some of the chemical agents in toothpaste that remove the surface stain also help to control calculas – sodium pyrophosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, and sodium hexametaphosphate.

What is calculus or tartar when it comes to teeth?

Calculus or tartar in tooth language is not a math class; it is calcified plaque: a hard yellowish deposit on the teeth, consisting of organic secretions and food particles deposited in various salts, such as calcium carbonate.

It first builds up behind the lower front teeth.

Once calculus forms it will not brush off and should be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist.

Toothpaste – Antihypersensitive toothpaste

Teeth hypersensitivity is a condition characterized by sharp pain associated with
temperature change, evaporative, tactile, or chemical stimuli. It
has been reported that up to 57% of the adults suffer from this condition.

Toothpaste with potassium nitrate or potassium citrate are used for this problem. The most common potassium salt used in sensitivity toothpaste is potassium nitrate (KNO3).

Other componds in toothpaste to reduce hypersensitivity are arginine with calcium carbonate, strontium acetate, calcium sodium phosphosilicate,  and stannous fluoride .

Toothpaste – what is triclosan and what does it do?

Triclosan is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent that inserts into and disrupts the bacterial membrane. Since it is an uncharged molecule, alone it has
poor retention in the mouth.
Triclosan is the antibacterial ingredient thatit provides plaque and
gingivitis benefits of the toothpaste.  Some toothpast are formulated with a  special polymer to increase the retention of triclosan in the mouth.  Toothpaste with triclosan was  introduced outside the U.S. in 1992 and was the first broadly marketed antibacterial toothpaste.

Fluorides in toothpaste – science behind different fluorides

Stannous fluoride (SnF2;also called tin fluoride) was first formulated
successfully into a toothpaste to deliver an anti-cavity benefit in the 1950s. Fluoride
is highly reactive, and the challenge was finding an abrasive system that had low
enough reactivity with fluoride to maintain fluoride being available.

 Sodium fluoride (NaF) is a fluoride salt commonly used in toothpaste
and oral rinses. Sodium fluoride delivers a highly reactive fluoride ion; therefore,
formulating it with a compatible abrasive is critically important for achieving the anti-cavity
benefit. In the early 1980s, silica abrasives that were compatible with sodium fluoride
became available and allowed toothpaste with stannous fluoride to be reformulated with the more stable sodium fluoride.

 Sodium monofluorophosphate (SMFP) was introduced in 1968.  Unlike sodium fluoride, SMFP is not an ionic fluoride salt, but rather a covalently bound fluoridated compound that requires enzymatic activation by a salivary enzyme (alkaline phosphatase) to release bioavailable fluoride.  Because of this lower reactivity, SMFP is compatible with more abrasives than other fluoride sources

What does toothpaste have in it?

Toothpastes contain ingredients that help reduce tooth decay, plaque, gingivitis, hypersensitivity, calculus, stain, and halitosis. Some ingredients
provide a therapeutic benefit, while other ingredients or additives contribute to the cosmetic benefits or physical properties of the toothpaste.

Anti-cavity ingredients include sodium fluoride, sodium monoflurophosphate, and stannous fluoride.

Tooth Desensitizer include potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride

Anti-plaque, Anti-gingivitis – stannous fluoried

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